FAQ

Anthony Bryan wrote:
Hi,

You could use metalinks on your download page. Metalinks are used by download managers & contain Mirror & p2p locations for segmented downloads,
along with automatic checksum verification when the download completes. It spreads the download between multiple servers so its faster for users, more
reliable, & less load on any one server. Metalinks are backward compatible too.

If you're interested, you can try it out with aria2 (Unix command line) (http://aria2.sourceforge.net), Speed Download (Mac) (http://www.yazsoft.com), or GetRight (Windows) (http://www.getright.com), then clicking on these samples:

http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html

Also, OpenOffice.org uses metalinks to distribute their free office suite at http://distribution.openoffice.org/p2p/magnet.html

There's a video of metalink working in GetRight here: http://www.metalinker.org/implementation.html

You can create your own metalinks on the site, or I could make one for you if you'd like.

Metalinks are just simple XML like this:

<metalink version="3.0" xmlns="http://www.metalinker.org/">
<files>
<file name="example.ext">
<verification>
<hash type="md5">example-md5-hash</hash>
<hash type="sha1">example-sha1-hash</hash>
</verification>
<resources>
<url type="ftp">ftp://ftp.example1.com/example.ext</url>
<url type="ftp">ftp://ftp.example2.com/example.ext</url>
<url type="http">http://www.example1.com/example.ext</url>
<url type="http">http://www.example2.com/example.ext</url>
<url type="http">http://www.example3.com/example.ext</url>
<url type="bittorrent">http://www.ex.com/example.ext.torrent</url>
<url type="magnet"/>
<url type="ed2k"/>
</resources>
</file>
</files>
</metalink>
hi Anthony,

Thanks for getting in touch about metalinks. I've personally never heard
about this before, but it sounds interesting. The first question that
comes to mind is - how many user end download clients support this format ?

And, if we are to publish these, we'd need some means to generate them
automatically, perhaps a hook into the mirror-monitor scripts. But thats
a future issue.

I am cross posting this to the CentOS-Devel list, so that more people
might be able to get involved in the conversation. I suggest you
subscribe to that list (
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos-devel )

--
Karanbir Singh {kbsingh@centos.org}
The CentOS Project, http://www.centos.org/

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  • Anthony L. Bryan at Aug 4, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for getting in touch about metalinks. I've personally
    never heard
    about this before, but it sounds interesting. The first question that
    comes to mind is - how many user end download clients support
    this format ?

    And, if we are to publish these, we'd need some means to
    generate them
    automatically, perhaps a hook into the mirror-monitor
    scripts. But thats
    a future issue.

    I am cross posting this to the CentOS-Devel list, so that more people
    might be able to get involved in the conversation. I suggest you
    subscribe to that list (
    http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos-devel )
    Hi Karanbir, thanks for writing back.

    You haven't heard about metalinks before because its all word of mouth so
    far :) OpenOffice.org is the only 'large' site using it at the moment. It
    was really designed with ISOs in mind tho, so I'd be excited if you used it.

    Currently, 3 clients support metalink, one for Mac (Speed Download), Unix
    (aria2 - http://aria2.sourceforge.net), and Windows (GetRight). 5 more
    clients are in the process of adding support.

    As far as automation, http://metalink.packages.ro/ has perl source for
    generating metalinks. If you need hooks into your mirror-monitor scripts, I
    would be interested in supporting development of those so they could be used
    elsewhere too.

    I've made a metalink for CentOS-4.3-i386-LiveCD.iso
    (http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html#isos).

    I've spent a few minutes on this, if you could, I'd ask you to try it out
    once (at a place with a good net connection). If you aren't interested, fair
    enough. Get aria, then:

    aria2c
    http://www.metalinker.org/samples/CentOS-4.3-i386-LiveCD.iso.metalink

    It should download (speedily) from a bunch of mirrors, then automatically
    verify the checksum when finished. The next version of aria2 will have even
    more features.

    Anthony Bryan
    http://www.metalinker.org/
  • Anthony L. Bryan at Aug 8, 2006 at 6:05 pm
    A new metalink client for Mac/Unix/Win has been released: wxDownload Fast -
    http://dfast.sourceforge.net/

    aria2 (http://aria2.sourceforge.net/), the unix command line metalink
    client, has been updated. It now has tighted integration with
    ftp/http/bittorrent.

    The CentOS metalink is at http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html#isos for
    anyone who would like to try it out. All comments are welcome.

    Anthony Bryan
    metalink [ http://www.metalinker.org ]
  • Anthony L. Bryan at Aug 30, 2006 at 9:19 am
    Hi,

    For a brief rundown on metalinks, try one of these:

    http://torrentfreak.com/metalinker-integrating-http-ftp-and-p2p/

    http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/08/28/metalinks-integrated-bittorrent-http
    -and-ftp-downloads/

    aria2 (metalink/bittorrent command line client) RPMs for FC 1,2,3 & RHEL 3,4
    (i386 & x86_64) are available at:

    http://apt.sw.be/packages/aria2/

    A CentOS metalink is at http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html#isos for
    anyone who would like to try it out.

    http://metalink.packages.ro/ which is run by one of the CentOS mirrors,
    could automatically generate metalinks for you like it does for
    OpenOffice.org.


    Anthony Bryan
    metalink [ http://www.metalinker.org ]

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